Fascism

Operation Choke Point was an attempt to cut off gun (and other politically disfavored) related business from financial services. Operation Choke Point has “effectively” ended but that doesn’t mean the fascists have given up. Andrew Ross Sorkin is advocating another angle:

How Banks Unwittingly Finance Mass Shootings

The New York Times reviewed hundreds of documents including police reports, bank records and investigator notes from a decade of mass shootings. Many of the killers built their stockpiles of high-powered weapons with the convenience of credit. No one was watching.

Mass shootings routinely set off a national debate on guns, usually focused on regulating firearms and on troubled youths. Little attention is paid to the financial industry that has become an instrumental, if unwitting, enabler of carnage.

A New York Times examination of mass shootings since the Virginia Tech attack in 2007 reveals how credit cards have become a crucial part of the planning of these massacres. There have been 13 shootings that killed 10 or more people in the last decade, and in at least eight of them, the killers financed their attacks using credit cards. Some used credit to acquire firearms they could not otherwise have afforded.

The credit card companies aren’t jumping on the fascist bandwagon yet:

Banks and credit-card networks say it is not their responsibility to create systems to track gun purchases that would allow them to report suspicious patterns.

“We do not believe Visa should be in the position of setting restrictions on the sale of lawful goods or services,” said Amanda Pires, a Visa spokeswoman. “Our role in commerce is to efficiently process, protect and settle all legal payments. Asking Visa or other payment networks to arbitrate what legal goods can be purchased sets a dangerous precedent.”

A spokesman for Mastercard echoed that sentiment, emphasizing its protection of “cardholders’ independence” and the “privacy of their own purchasing decisions.”

John Shrewsberry, chief financial officer of Wells Fargo — which counts the National Rifle Association as a client — has dismissed the notion that banks should regulate the use of its credit cards for gun purchases.

While no friend of gun owners, the ACLU appears to be on our side on this one:

And a policy expert at the American Civil Liberties Union recently expressed concern about how efforts to prevent mass shootings could infringe on individual rights.

“The implication of expecting the government to detect and prevent every mass shooting is believing the government should play an enormously intrusive role in American life,” Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst at the A.C.L.U. Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, wrote in July.

But, of course, the fascist dismisses these concerns:

Not all the concerns involve privacy or politics. Some are practical.

Would they dismiss freedom of (some) religions or association on a “practical” basis? For example, people in prison who identify as Democrats outnumber all other political affiliations combined by a factor of two. Wouldn’t it be “practical” to preemptively put scarce law enforcement and surveillance resources on Democrats?

In October Gab was targeted for supporting free speech. Among other things that happened Pay Pal would no longer do business with them. Boomershoot processes credit cards through Pay Pal. This has long been something that bothered me because Pay Pal won’t allow you to us them for gun sales but other options went away (Google) or were very difficult to implement (Amazon).

After Pay Pal shutdown Gab I started looking for another credit card processor. I ended up with Wells Fargo. It’s more expensive than Pay Pal but they didn’t have a problem with Boomershoot. I didn’t know the NRA was their customer too. Good to know.

I’m on “vacation” until after the first of the year to, mostly, work on converting the Boomershoot entry processing to use Wells Fargo so I can dump Pay Pal. I just hope it is easier to implement on my web site than Amazon.

8 thoughts on “Fascism

  1. Sure, let’s rewrite the Bill of Rights;

    Congress shall make only practical laws respecting the establishment of religion, and prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

    …the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall be infringed when it is deemed practical to do so.

    Soldiers shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house whenever practical…

    The Bill of Rights then only protects us from “impractical” violations of our rights, while “Practical Laws” which violate our rights are completely beyond its scope and jurisdiction.

    By applying the “practical” standard, the authoritarians are asserting Carte blanche just as the pope asserts authority over all peoples, nations, resources and property. Since the pope also claims “Infallibility”, everything he says or does is “Practical”. So shut up and obey– it’s the practical thing to do.

    And presto; the Bill of Rights is no longer that hated “Charter of Negative Rights” that Obama was whining about.

    • What you describe is, realistically, how the Constitution is interpreted by the “judges” we have.
      Consider that they use “strict scrutiny” (or sometimes just “scrutiny” or “ordinary scrutiny”, I forgot the precise term). There is assorted legal arm waving about this, but if you examine it, you’ll see that a Plain English translation is “we’ll allow the government to infringe the Constitution if it comes up with a somewhat plausible sounding excuse”.
      So instead of “shall not be infringed” we actually have “may be infringed if there is a good excuse for doing so”.
      And somehow we continue to have these people in office.

      • You got there before I did, collectively with Lyle. The Progressive Reds won’t be happy until they can achieve total State dominance over the individual through surveillance and AI interpreted monitoring or your actions. Do this, that and the other thing and the algorithm spits out an alert to the “authorities” that you need a visit.

      • pkoning, I think the categories are “strict scrutiny”, “intermediate scrutiny”, and “rational basis”.

  2. If the fascists were really concerned about loss of life, they’d ban the purchase of alcohol with credit. Or even better, allow only cash sales of automobiles, or horrors!, motorcycles. Better stop CC purchases of ski lift tickets or air fills at scuba shops, too. And before buying any sugary food, please step on this scale here, ma’am, to see if you fall within standards.

  3. If the banks are complicit by “allowing” gun purchases, then the criminals’ landlords are complicit by way of providing them a place to stay, auto dealers are complicit in providing transportation to and from the crime scenes, and farmers are complicit in providing nourishment to criminals…

    Thus we are all guilty and can all be intimidated and lorded over because of our guilt.

    This is an extension of “You Didn’t Build That!” In this case, “The Criminal Didn’t Do That– Someone Else Made That Happen!” That in turn is the Charles Manson defense– He said that we all made him what he was and therefore we’re guilty, not him.

    Notice however, that when it is a good thing, like you building something, the government will take the credit, whereas if it is something bad, it is the private sector’s fault.

    I had a sociopathic employer many years ago, and we employees came up with the term, “Iuhweuh” to describe him. Whenever a customer gave praise for the shop’s work he said, “I uh…” and whenever a customer had a complaint it was, “We uh…”

  4. This is part of a dual pronged attack, both using the same underlying premise.
    On the one tine there’s a push for Gun Confiscation Orders (Red Flag, Extreme Risk Protection, Gun Violence Restraining Order, etc) which uses government to disarm folks because they may – may – do something evil in the future. The other is pushing private companies to deny a means to acquire arms because they may – may – do something evil in the future.

    If either one sticks the progressives will be happy (though not satisfied), but they’ll certainly take both. The private company route seems more dangerous though. If they focus on monitoring and reporting instead of outright denial of transactions involving arms, then they get a handy list of guns and gunowners. The feds are currently prohibited from keeping a registration of gunowners (aside from the NFA stuff) but there’s no law that forbids the .gov from perusing a list a private company jotted down.

    (Admittedly it’s a conceit to think the feds obey that law when they monitor communications en mass, but it’s easier to keep up pretences if they say they just looked at a private companies list and not mention they compared it to their own)

    Not to mention, banks don’t usually approve loans for buying a $200 or $400 firearm, but many poor folks use a credit card to finance such a purchase. This is yet another avenue to deny poor folks an effective means of self defense, and progressives’ disarmament policies target the poor so frequently that I can’t believe it’s an unintended consequence. Maybe they figure if poor folks can’t defend themselves they’ll want a bigger government to protect them and thus vote for progressives. Or maybe they just want to keep the populace most likely to revolt disarmed. either way the progressives see poor folks disarmed as a feature, not a bug.

    But I think this is not a random occurrence; I wouldn’t be surprised if Bloomie the Hut or some other influential progressive thought this two pronged attack was worth pushing. I just hope no one from (ostensibly) our side (The NRA, Gottlieb, etc) will cave in to one in a misguided attempt to stave off the other. Both are immoral policies and appeasement is a strategy suitable only for chumps.

  5. This strikes me as a great way to piss off large groups of people who are armed.

    What could possibly go wrong?

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